Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 privacy statement

Last updated: April 2014

These highlights of the full Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 privacy statement (“Windows privacy statement”) explain at a high level some of the data collection and use practices of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 (“Windows”). They focus on online features and aren't intended to be an exhaustive description. They don't apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services.

This privacy statement has the following sections:

  • Highlights (this page)

  • Statement, which is the full Windows 8.1 privacy statement, and includes links to privacy statements for Windows features that have their own standalone statements

  • Features supplement, which describes the features that have privacy impact in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Apps supplement, which describes the apps that have privacy impact in Windows 8.1

  • Server supplement, which describes the additional features that have privacy impact in Windows Server 2012 R2

For more information on how to help protect your PC, your personal information, and your family online, visit our Safety and Security Center.

Your information

  • Certain Windows features may ask you for permission to collect or use information from your PC, including personal information. Windows uses this information as outlined in the full Windows 8.1 privacy statement, as well as in the Features Supplement, the Apps Supplement and the Server Supplement.

  • Some Windows features can, with your permission, share personal information over the Internet.

  • If you choose to register your software, you'll be asked to provide personal information.

  • Windows requires activation to reduce software piracy and help ensure that our customers receive the software quality they expect. Activation sends some information about your PC to Microsoft.

  • If you choose to sign in to Windows with a Microsoft account, Windows will sync your settings across devices and automatically sign you in to some apps and websites. Windows does not require you to sign in with a Microsoft account to access third-party email or social network services, but if that third party offers an app through the Store, you must sign in to the Store with a Microsoft account to install the app. If you create a Microsoft account, you’ll be asked to provide some personal information, such as your geographic region and your date of birth.

  • Additional details

Your choices

  • Windows offers you a variety of ways to control how Windows features transfer information over the Internet. More information about how to control these features is in the Features Supplement, Apps Supplement and the Server Supplement.

  • To help improve your experience, some features that use the Internet are turned on by default.

  • Additional details

Uses of information

  • We use the information collected to enable the features you're using or provide the services you request. We also use it to improve our products and services. In order to help provide our services, we occasionally provide information to other companies that work on our behalf. Only companies who have a business need to use the information are provided access to them. These companies are required to keep this information confidential and are prohibited from using it for any other purpose.

  • Additional details

How to contact us

For more information about our privacy practices, go to the full Windows 8.1 privacy statement. Or, you can write to us using our web form.